Family Night-STAY FOR $140 Giveaway!

I love my family.                                                                                             

My hubby, well, what can I say?  Anyone who writes my name in mildew and takes pictures of my rear on purpose, ranks high in my book.
The children?  They are the reason I get up everyday.  Literally.  They pull and tug on my tired body until I have no other choice.  
They light up my world.
And of course, I’m the Mom. I’m the do-er.  I am the efficient multi-tasker.  If I’m on the phone, I’m also sweeping.  I can carry huge piles of laundry up the stairs while dragging a new bag of kitty litter with my toe.  
Oh, yes.  I’m that good.
We are homebodies.  The mall frightens my husband.  We can only dine at restaurants with outdoor patios, what, with the toddler we now own.  We go to church and school-together, but separately to our own classes.  
So somewhere in the mix of all that being together, we missed togetherness.  So, family night was born.  Family night consists of well, the family, cat and toddler included, locked up in our family room, together.  
Now, at this point I’d love to tell you we sit around without the interruptions of tv, phones, computers, etc, holding hands, sharing fond stories and end the night singing “cumh by ya my Lord.”
Hmmm. . . . Not so much.

A typical family night for us might include a Wii family bowling tournament or the latest Disney movie.  Lately, we’ve really gotten into board games.  I don’t even throw myself on the floor anymore when I don’t win.

By far, our best family nights center around old home movies of well, us.  We’re vain that way. 

My kids LOVE watching themselves when they were babies.  We had a big box of unlabeled tapes.  We’ve almost made our way to the bottom.  Each one has been a surprise. (One of the first ones we watched almost 2 years ago cinched our decision to have another child.  When we stumbled upon the ‘baby tapes’ I just cried my way thru them.  Who knew my kids were so cute? And that it would lead to a third?  )
Family night isn’t strict or structured.  There isn’t a manual.  

It just is.  
Because one day, it won’t be.
And so, in honor of my sixth month anniversary of blogging and our love of Family Night, I’m offering one lucky reader an enormous pile of brand new Family Night Activities valued at over $140!

  • Risk Transformers Board Game :: Retail Value $39.95   
  • Mall Madness :: Retail Value $39.95    
  • I Spy Preschool Game :: Retail Value $14.95   
  • Uncle Milton’s Ant Farm :: Retail Value $9.95 
  • Smart Lab Electronics Lab :: Retail Value $19.95   
  • Hannah Montana 26 piece Activities Set :: Retail Value $19.95   
  • Popcorn Bags (because would it be a Family Night without it?  We know the answer to that, don’t we?)

To be entered into this random drawing, just leave a comment.  Comments will close Friday night, April 25th at 10 p.m. CST.  Winner will be announced on Sunday, April 27th. (I am limiting this giveaway to the U.S. only.  I’m sorry, but I will have to take away my kid’s lunch money to mail it as it is, thanks for understanding). Oh, and please, only leave one comment.  I’m not the best counter and I confuse easily, so play nice, ya’ll. This is open to bloggers and non-bloggers!

I have a big storage closet where I stick games and toys I find on sale.  This is only some of the stuff ! One lucky reader will benefit from my deep-seeded shopping issues.  

Oh, and if giveaways are your
, you must hop over to the Bloggy Carnival.  (I don’t know if specifically asking for God’s favor for the Random Number Generator works or not, but I’m going to try it!) Good luck!  Don’t forget to subscribe to my blog.  That will help you win something.  I’m sure of it.  Sort of.

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Wedding Shower Lovelies

I’m old and I got married a long time ago.

Times have changed so much in the last 15 years, my wedding decor is laughable. 
But, I have hosted a few showers. 
And I’m all about the favors, cookies are my choice.
Here are some of my favorites:
(from Bake @350)
Wedding Monograms, Wedding Monogram Cookies, Wedding Cookies by Rolling Pin ProductionsWedding Couple Wedding Cake Cookies,  Wedding Couple Wedding Cake Decorated Cookies, Wedding Cake Monograms by Rolling Pin Productions
Let’s be clear, I’m all about cookies, for any occasion!
Check out Kelly’s for more fun!

Thank You

I started blogging around six months ago.  It was a whim.  It was a selfish act.  As a matter of fact, I didn’t even open it to comments for the first 4 months. 

I wrote.  For me.  
It was out of defiance, really.  I filed away another rejection letter from a Publisher, turned on my computer and rebelled.  Every post I wrote was an act of revenge, “Well, then, fine.  I’ll just publish myself.”
I’ve written about my kids and their fiasco’s.  My bad mommy moments have been on display.  
One word comes to mind:  selfish.  
I didn’t plan to allow comments.  I didn’t plan to meet other people.  I didn’t plan to be moved with compassion.  

I’m glad I didn’t plan.
And that’s why I want to say thank you.
In the past six months, I have traveled to Africa with Shannon and Sophie.  Tears have puddled on my keyboard as I have watched these two ladies struggle with their emotions and closely watched how they fit Africa into their everyday lives.  My family sponsored Bereket, a five year old Ethiopian child who lives in extreme poverty.  I think about this precious child every time I eat. Which is all day long. A giant lump forms in my throat each time my kids pray for him at bedtime.
Between loads of laundry and dishes, I have met and grown to love courageous women who are fighting cancer, like Heather J.  She makes me laugh everyday.  I glean from her strength.  And she has reminded me that I still believe God can heal.  
Reading through the grieving heart of a woman who lost her twins in utero has touched a place in me I didn’t want to visit.  Journeying with Lisa as she mourns the loss of a three year old cousin has moved me.  For days, I couldn’t wipe away the image of a tiny white casket from my mind or of a childless mother.  Thinking of her, I have whispered prayers over my own children and sat by their sleeping bodies and wept- from love, sorrow, guilt and thankfulness.
Following Happy Mommy‘s chronicles of her desire to have another child after her husband’s vasectomy reversal have been inspiring.  I love watching her life unravel and I can’t help but root for this lady who longs to grow a new life, again.  As I did last week, when Baby Mama, pushed out her sixth baby, at home.
I have dreaded the deployment of Kim’s husband that has left her a Situationally Single Mom. She is a hero and I can’t help but think of her empty bed when I snuggle up against my husband.
And these are just a few . . . 
My perspective has changed.  In just a few short months, my world has grown.  Blinders have been lifted from these shallow eyes.  
God has renewed my compassion for parts of the world I will never visit.  He has used the challenges of others to remind me that I have much to be thankful for.  In His Sovereignty, He is teaching me to blindly trust in Him, even when I can’t trace His hand, I can always trust His heart.
So, thank you.  Thank you for blogging.  You are making a difference.  
And, thank you for reading.  It’s my desire to remind moms they aren’t alone.  I pray through my silly, nonsense writing, you can see my heart and know that I am just a simple mom who has been changed by this bloggy world.  
And, by a very BIG God.